The Dressmaker's Gift
A Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller.
From the bestselling author of The Beekeeper’s Promise comes a gripping story of three young women faced with impossible choices. How will history – and their families – judge them?
Paris, 1940. With the city occupied by the Nazis, three young seamstresses go about their normal lives as best they can. But all three are...more
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This novel follows other modern historical fiction trends: the modern-day character, Harriet, finds an old photograph in box that shows her grandmother as a young lady with two other girls, and Harriet then makes it her goal to uncover the past of her familial history concerning her grandmother, Claire.
The first chapter was very cliché. Harriet moves to Paris obtaining a job in the same building that her grandmother, Claire, worked in. And, she settles in the same apartment that her gra ...more
The grandmothers' story was interesting and good. The granddaughter's story was not so interesting, and the coincidences required a suspension of disbelief beyond what I could muster. Also, the granddaughter was, well, kind of annoying and weak through most of the book, which made it difficult not to whiz through her sections.
I picked this free book through the Amazon First Reads program (or something like that). I love stories set in WWII and I am always looking to read something from a different angle. I enjoy books that move back and forth in time and reading about a character in the present discovering something about their family. I also enjoy sewing as a hobby. So the description of this book rang a lot of happy bells for me. I’m sad that it fell so short. In terms of storytelling and writing, ...more
Fantastic book. It was gripping and suspenseful, painful and emotional, uplifting and allegorical for the times. My one note is that the story of the three seamstresses is set up to be revealed to Harriet through some letters. I don’t want to say any spoilers so I’ll just say that it seems unlikely that the person writing the letters would have such in depth knowledge of events that took place without him/her.
I loved the idea behind the letters but it was hard to be ...more
It follows the common trend most of the novels in this genre are following - a young protagonist trying to discover their familial history and uncover their roots. The plot is cliched at times, yet the execution makes the journey of reading this book worth its while.
There are abundant mentions of Paris and its fashion industry. The end also mentions a few good books related to the German war camps.
Verdict: Recommended i ...more
Paris, 1940. The city is occupied by the Nazis, three young French seamstresses Claire, Mireille and Vivienne are kept busy sewing beautiful dresses for German officers wives and their mistresses.
The girls share a tiny apartment, it's situated on the top floor of the fashion house where they work and the three girls ar ...more
Two generations later, Claire’s English granddaughter Harriet arrives in Paris, rootless and adrift, desperate to find a connection with her past. Living and working in th ...more
I own this, but it is now available as Kindle Unlimited if you want a feminine take couched in family secret ...more
Very nice story and recommend ...more
It just got BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER with each page! I couldn’t read it quickly enough! At that point, it was an exciting 5 star read and this was the majority of the book. I just couldn’t believe how compelling it was! 😁.
THEN...it cooled dow ...more
This book was so well thought out, I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading. Claire’s story, along with Vivi and Mierelle in war-torn Paris during the German occupancy...the uprising against the Nazi soldiers in a secret network of people determined not to succumb to a communist way of life. Women were grossly underestimated and utilized their resources in creative and deceptively simple ways.
I loved the ties between generations, the solid foundation a young gir ...more
I'm one that also adds on more to this mix:emotions. In the end, would it be something I'd recommend to others? Did it stir up the creative juices? Was it moving and heartfelt and captured the moment even if not an accurate port ...more
I liked the unique story and the historical references. I wish the author had given more on Coco and her betrayal and morals. Coco was a traitor and profited from her immoral lifestyle.
Deep, almost unbelievable, information in what life was like.
What I didn't like was the rambling on and on, the musing over and over again. Especially the end.
With drastic editing this could even be a great movie. The author just writes way too much. I ended up skipping dozens of rambling p ...more
The modern day story-line bored me to tears. The first person writing didn't feel as well thought out as the third person was for the back in time story-line.
The back in time stuff was ok, but again I felt like it lacked development. It was all just too basic for me to get invested in it. When I finished it, I felt nothing but disappointment.
Claire, Vivienne, and Mireille find themselves relying and learning to trust each other with all of the resistance work they are each individually doing, meanwhile keeping up the facade in the sewing shop. Every ...more
All of these inspirations, along with a love for the place, the people and their history, have found their way into the book ...more